History of Later Years
of the Hawaiian Monarchy


  The Attempted Coup D'etat of 1893, and the Counter Revolution

The closing acts of the Legislature of 1892, narrated in the last chapter had been entirely unexpected by the community of Honolulu. The general feeling of indignation was intense, but there was no thought of any revolutionary action, or of any opposition to the existing Government except within the limits of the Constitution.

The U. S. cruiser Boston, Captain Wiltse, had sailed for Hilo, with the U. S. Minister, J. L. Stevens, as a passenger, on the fourth of January, 1893, and was absent from Honolulu ten days. Having left the city in apparent tranquility, Minister Stevens returned about 10 o'clock on the morning of the fourteenth, to find himself unexpectedly in the midst of a revolution.

The events of that day occurred in such rapid succession, attended by such intense excitement, that it is difficult now to arrange details in their proper order.

Cecil Brown,    Mark P. Robinson,   P C. Jones,   G. N. Wilcox


Although the community in general was entirely in the dark as to the intention of the Queen to proclaim a new Constitution, a few persons had received intimations of the fact.

From the Queen's written statement, fully corroborated by other evidence, it is certain that all the members of her last Cabinet had accepted office with the understanding that they should sign her new Constitution and assist in its promulgation.

Mr. C. B. Wilson, who was the Marshal, has stated that she discussed the project with him on the 8th of January, and again on the 13th, in connection with the appointment of the new Cabinet, and that on both occasions he opposed it, denying "its suitability and feasibility at the time." On the 10th Mr. Marcus Colburn sent a warning to the Wilcox-Jones Ministry, through Mr. Henry Waterhouse, stating that the Queen intended to promulgate a new Constitution, and that in case she was not able to get the Wilcox Ministry voted out, her plan was, after the prorogation of the Legislature, to invite the four Ministers over to the palace and to lay before them the new Constitution which she had prepared, and that if they refused to sign it, they were to be made prisoners.

An unsigned letter, written the next day, undoubtedly by John Colburn, and addressed to Mr. P. C. Jones, contains the following passage: "If you don't get out of office, and a new Constitution is shoved on this country by the Queen, you four men and your hypocritical supporters will be to blame for it, etc."

At a caucus of the Queen's party, held on Friday night, the l3th, one of the members, John Kaluna by name, said that if he could establish the new Constitution, he would die happy, provided he could kill a few white men before dying.

Between 10 and 11 o'clock A. M. of the 14th, Mr. John Colburn called at the office of Mr. A. S. Hartwell, informed him that the Queen was determined to proclaim a new Constitution that very afternoon, and asked his advice. At is request Mr. Hartwell called in Messrs. L. A. Thurston and W. O. Smith, who strongly advised him and his colleagues to see the Queen immediately, and tell her that the Constitution must not be promulgated, and that if she persisted in her design, it would be the death-warrant of the Monarchy ; to refuse to countersign the new Constitution, and to decline to resign if their resignations should be demanded ; if the Queen persisted in her attempt, to declare her to be in revolution against the Government, and to call upon the people for support against her; assuring them of the united support of the community if this course were followed. Mr. Colburn then hurried back to see the Queen, but failed to see her before the ceremony of prorogation.

At the same time Mr. W. 0. Smith called at the Chamber of Commerce, (which had met to consider a memorial on the lottery bill), and informed the merchants present of the impending crisis. The facts were also communicated to Captain Wiltse, of the Boston, who simply said that he was here for the purpose of protecting the lives and property of American citizens, and that he would do it if called upon. Mr. Hartwell promptly laid the matter before Minister Stevens, who had just landed from the Boston. At his suggestion, Minister Stevens sought the co-operation of the British Commissioner, Major Wodehouse, and they two went together to the Foreign Office to seek an interview with the Queen. They were, however, too late, the ceremony of prorogation having already commenced.

The Prorogation

The ceremony of proroguing the Legislature took place at noon with the usual pomp and display. The members opposed to the lottery had absented themselves, as did nearly all the white residents and most of the Diplomatic Corps, but the U. S. Consul-General and Lieutenant Young, of the Boston, were present. A native political society called the "Hui Kalaiaina," about forty in number, attended, wearing broadcloth suits, with tall hats, and badges, and carrying banners. Immediately after the prorogation, they marched across the street to the Palace, two and two, headed by their president, Alapai and one John Akina, who "carried a large flat package in front of his breast, suspended by ribbons from his shoulders.

This was the "Constitution." It had been previously arranged by the Queen that they should bring the Constitution which she had prepared, and go through the form of asking her to proclaim it. The members of the Legislature, the Diplomatic Corps, and other officials were invited over to the Palace to lend eclat to the intended coup.

A. P. Peterson,           W. H. Cornwell,           C. B. Wilson,            S. Parker

The Conference In The Foreign Office

As soon as the Queen had left the Government building to return to the Palace, the four Ministers, at the request of the Diplomatic Corps, held an interview with them in the Foreign Office. Major Wodehouse asked them whether it was true that the Queen intended to promulgate a new constitution that afternoon, to which Mr. Parker replied that ''it was a fact." He had not seen the Constitution, but the Queen had requested them to come over and sign it." Major Wodehouse then inquired what course the Cabinet would take, on which they all assured him they would not consent to sign the new Constitution. Major Wodehouse emphatically said that the Queen must not promulgate a new Constitution, and that if she had any such idea she must abandon it. In the course of the conversation Mr. Stevens inquired whether the Queen had signed the lottery bill. On Mr. Parker's replying in the affirmative, he asked again whether the Cabinet had advised her to sign it. Mr. Peterson explained that the Queen considered that the bill having passed the Legislature, she ought to sign it, as she had no reason for vetoing it, and that the Cabinet agreed with her. Mr. Stevens is reported to have "pounded his cane upon the floor," and to have exclaimed that the passage of that bill was a direct attack upon the United States. This alleged remark was made a serious grievance of by the Cabinet.

The meeting then broke up and the Cabinet went directly to the Palace, while Mr. Stevens and Major Wodehouse returned home.

The Scene In The Palace

In the meantime a large concourse of Hawaiians had assembled around the Palace gates, and in the grounds near the front entrance of the building, while the household troops were drawn up in line from the front steps of the Palace to the west gate, under arms, with their belts full of cartridges. In the throne-room the "Hui Kalaiaina" were drawn up in regular lines, and their president, Alapai, had an address to deliver, which he held open in his hand. Besides these, most of the native members of the Legislature, Chief-Justice Judd with Justice Bickerton, some members of the Diplomatic Corps and other officials were stationed as for a State ceremony.

Meanwhile a memorable scene was taking place in the blue room, to which the Cabinet had been summoned by the Queen. On their tardy arrival, she at once placed before them a copy of her new Constitution, demanded their signatures, and declared her intention to promulgate it at once. According to his own account, Mr. Parker said, "Your Majesty, we have not read that Constitution, but before we read it you must know that this is a revolutionary act. It cannot be done."

An angry discussion followed. The Cabinet spoke of the meeting just held with the foreign representatives, of the danger of an uprising, etc.

She told them that "she would not have undertaken such a step if they had not encouraged her." She said, "they had led her to the brink of a precipice, and now were leaving her to take the leap alone." She also said, " Why not give the people this Constitution and I will bear the brunt of all the blame afterwards."

Mr. Peterson said, "We have not read this Constitution," on which she exclaimed, "How dare you say that, when you have had it in your possession for a month?" She then invited them to resign, which they declined to do. She went on to threaten the Cabinet that unless they acceded to her wishes she would go upon the steps of the Palace and tell the excited mob that she wished to give them a new Constitution, but that her Ministers were inside, hindering her from doing so. These Ministers well remembered the Court House riot of 1874, and the fate of the unlucky representatives who then fell into the hands of the mob. Before her threat could be put into execution, three of the Ministers escaped from the Palace by different exits, and repaired to their offices in the Government building. Mr. Parker alone remained with the Queen, fearing that if left lone, she might sign the Constitution herself, proclaim it from the Palace balcony, complaining that her Cabinet and judges would not comply with her wishes, and tell the people to look out for them. Meanwhile Marshal Wilson told the Chief-Justice in great emotion that he had been fighting the battle alone all the morning, and that the Queen was determined to carry out her design.

The Appeal To The Citizens

About 1:30 p. M. Mr. J. F. Colburn came to Mr. W. O. Smith's office in great excitement, and requested him to come at once to the Attorney-General's office, in the Government Building, which he did. Messrs. Thurston, Wundenberg, and E. C. Macfarlane were already there, and other leading residents came in afterward. After Mr. Colburn had related the occurrence in the Blue Room, Mr. Thurston spoke emphatically, exhorting the Ministers to stand firm, and by no means to resign, and his views were supported by all who were present. Presently John Richardson, in the uniform of an officer of the Queen's staff, came over with a message from the Queen, requesting the three Ministers to return to the palace. They were advised, however, not to go, as they constituted a majority of the executive branch of the Government and might have to assume a grave responsibility to prevent the overthrow of the existing Constitution.

Besides, Mr. Colburn declared that their lives would be in danger if they went back to the Palace Accordingly they sent back by Mr. Richardson a message to Mr. Parker to come over at once to the Attorney-General's office, which he did, and the whole situation was again discussed.

In reply to their request for advice, Mr. Thurston proposed to them that they should declare the Queen to be in revolution and the throne vacant, and with their consent drew up a form of proclamation to that effect, which he says was approved of by two of them. He also advised, that as they did not know but that the Queen might take immediate forcible action against them, they should sign a letter asking the support of the American Minister, and deliver it to some third party, not to be used unless circumstances rendered it necessary. The Ministers approved of the suggestion, and he immediately drafted the following letter:

" His Excellency Jno. L. Stevens, American Minister Resident, and Capt. G. C. Wiltse, Commander of U. S. S. Boston.

Gentlemen : On behalf of the Hawaiian Cabinet, you are hereby informed that certain persons, without authority of law, have prepared and caused to be promulgated a document purporting to be a new Constitution, subversive of the rights of the people, and contrary to the law and Constitution of the land. That such illegal action is taken in the name of Her Majesty Liliuokalani, and is proposed to be supported by force. That the Cabinet maintain that such action is revolutionary and treasonable, and they hereby request the assistance of the United States troops to maintain order and support the Government."

Mr. Colburn states that he did not sign this letter, but gave it over to Mr. Peterson.

Messrs. Thurston and Smith then left the building to go down town, but were overtaken at Richards street by a messenger from the Cabinet, requesting Mr. Thurston to return, which he did. He was then asked by the Cabinet " to ascertain what support they could expect from citizens, and in their behalf to call for armed volunteers to resist the Queen." He immediately went to Mr. W. O. Smith's office, where he drafted a declaration stating what the Queen was attempting to do, and pledging the armed support of the signers to the Cabinet against the Queen, after which he proceeded, with the help of others,' to comply with their request. This document was signed by over eighty persons, including Mr. Paul Neumann, within an hour.

Leading citizens of all parties crowded into Mr. W. O. Smith's office and discussed the course to be pursued.

"There was but one mind among all those gathered together. An unanimity of sentiment prevailed such as has not been witnessed here for years, and it was agreed, without a dissenting voice, that it was the duty of every good citizen, without distinction of party, to support the law and the liberties of the people, and to resist the usurpation of the Queen."

Unfortunately this paper, as well as the minutes of the meeting held that afternoon, have been lost. Mr. Smith then returned to the Government building to inform the Cabinet of the sentiment of the people.

Meanwhile Mr. Hassinger had been sent around to the Diplomatic representatives, requesting them to meet the Cabinet again in the Foreign office. They came without delay, and were in consultation with them for perhaps half an hour. According to Mr. Colburn, they strongly advised the Cabinet to return to the Palace and tell the Queen that she must abandon her project at once.

At length, about 2:30 p. M., the four Ministers revisited the Palace, not without fear that they might be put under arrest, even if they suffered no bodily harm.

Just after they had left the Government building they met Mr. W. O. Smith, who delivered to them his message concerning the feeling of the citizens down town.

Postponement Of The Coup D’etat

The second conference in the Blue Room was a stormy and protracted one. For hours the result trembled in the balance. The Queen could not wholly renounce her cherished scheme, but finally consented with bitter reluctance to a temporary postponement of it. All this time the company assembled in the Throne Room were patiently waiting to hear the Queen's decision, while in front of the Government building a crowd of spectators stood watching the Palace with intense anxiety. Revolution seemed imminent.

At length about 4 P. M. the Queen returned to the Throne Room, fresh from her contest with the Cabinet, with anger and defiance in her looks and bearing, but controlling herself by a supreme effort of will. Ascending the dais, she made an address in Hawaiian, of which the following is a fair translation:

"Princes, Nobles and Representatives:

I have listened to the thousands of voices of my people that have come to me, and 1 am prepared to grant their request. The present Constitution is full of defects, as the Chief-Justice here will testify, as questions regarding it have so often come before him for settlement. It is so faulty that I think a new one should be granted. I have prepared one in which the rights of all have been regarded a Constitution suited to the wishes of the people. I was ready and expected to proclaim the new Constitution today, as a suitable occasion for it, and thus satisfy the wishes of my dear people. But, with deep regret, I say that I have met with obstacles that prevent it. Return to your homes peaceably and quietly, and continue to look toward me, and I will look toward you. Keep me ever in your love. I am obliged to postpone the granting of the Constitution for a few days. I must confer with my Cabinet, and when after you return home you may see it, receive it graciously. You have my love, and with sorrow I now dismiss you."

Representative White replied, thanking the Queen, and assuring her of the love of the people, and that they would wait patiently until their desires should be fulfilled, to which the Queen responded with thanks and left the Throne Room.

Representative Kaunamano then began in a loud voice an inflammatory harangue which was suppressed. He demanded the lives of the members of the Cabinet who had opposed the wishes of Her Majesty, and declared that he thirsted for bloodshed.

A few moments later the Queen went out upon the upper balcony of the Palace and addressed the crowd, who were almost exclusively natives. She told them that on account of the perfidy of her Ministers she was unable to give them the Constitution which she had promised them, but that she would take the earliest opportunity of procuring it for them. The crowd then gave three cheers.

The newspaper Ka Leo o ka Lahui, issued on the morning of the 16th, gave the text of this latter speech, of which the following is a literal translation:

"O ye people who love the chief, I hereby say to you that I am now ready to proclaim the new Constitution for my Kingdom, thinking that it would be successful; but behold, obstacles have arisen. Therefore, I say unto you, loving people, go with good hope, and do not be disturbed or troubled in your minds, because within the next few days now coming I will proclaim the new Constitution.

"The Executive officers of the law (the Cabinet), knew the errors in the new Constitution, but they said nothing. Therefore I hope that the thing which you, my people, so much desire, will be accomplished ; it is also my strong desire."

Representative White then proceeded to the front steps of the Palace and began an address. He told the crowd that the Cabinet had betrayed them, and that instead of going home peaceably, they should go into the Palace and kill and bury them. Attempts were made to stop him which he resisted, saying he would never close his mouth until the new Constitution was granted. Finally he yielded to the expostulations of Col. Jas. H. Boyd and others, threw up his hands and said that he was "pau," done for the present. After this the audience dispersed and the Hui Kalaiaina filed out, appearing very much dejected. A few minutes later Messrs. Parker and Cornwell came over to the Government building together, looking as though they had passed through a very severe ordeal. As they entered the building they were complimented by several persons for the stand which they had made.

Mr. Thurston, who stood by, however, said, "Must we continue to live in this way. with this peril hanging over our heads, uncertain whether we may not wake up any morning and find our liberties gone."Meanwhile a luau, or banquet had been prepared in the basement of the Palace, to which the Queen and about forty guests sat down.

The Main Features Of The Queen's Constitution

In a letter to Mr. S. M. Damon, dated January 31, 1893, the Queen declared that the original of her new Constitution and all the copies thereof had been destroyed. In Commissioner Blount's report (pp. 581-590), however, appears a document, certified to by Messrs. Parker, Peterson and Corn well, of her last Cabinet, as substantially identical with the one she presented to them on the 14th of January, 1893. Its correctness is confirmed by a draft now in the hands of the Government, partly written by J. Nawahi, and endorsed on the outside in the Queen's handwriting. According to this document, the principal changes made in it from the Constitution of 1887, are the following:

ARTICLE 42. "The Cabinet shall hold during the Queen's pleasure, or until removed by a vote of want of confidence passed by a majority of all the members of the Legislative assembly." This would restore to the Sovereign entire control of the Cabinet, as prior to 1887, except during sessions of the Legislature. The word " elective" before " members of the Legislative Assembly" is left out because the Nobles were to be appointive. The two vital changes in this Article are both ignored by Mr. Blount.

ARTICLE 56. "The Queen appoints the Nobles, who shall hold their appointments during life," instead of being elected by property-holders. This would give the Sovereign power to appoint one half of the Legislature, and to control that branch of the Government as before 1887.

ARTICLE 62. "Only male subjects shall vote." This would disfranchise the whole body of American and European residents, who had not become naturalized, and would give the native population entire control over the election of representatives.

ARTICLE 65. The term of appointment of the Justices of the Supreme Court was made six years instead of for life, and the provision that their "compensation shall not be diminished during their continuance in office," was stricken out. Thus the independence of the Supreme Court, which had survived all previous changes of Government, was to be destroyed.

ARTICLE 78 of the Constitution of 1887, which declared that "Wherever by this Constitution any act is to be done or performed by the King or the Sovereign, it shall, unless otherwise expressed, mean that such act shall be done and performed by the Sovereign by and with the advice and consent of the Cabinet," was stricken out, showing that the Queen intended thenceforth to govern as well as to reign. In fact, by this Constitution all power, practically unchecked, was to be given to the Crown executive, legislative and judicial. Thus the Government was to be transformed from a Constitutional to an absolute Monarchy by the arbitrary fiat of the Queen.

The Organization Of The Committee Of Public Safety

The informal concourse of citizens gathered at Mr. W. O. Smith's office awaited the result of the Cabinet's second meeting with the Queen. About 4:30 p. M. Messrs. Peterson and Colburn worked their way in with difficulty through the dense crowd. Mr. Colburn told the whole story of their struggle to prevent the Queen from proclaiming the new constitution that afternoon, and asked for the continued support of the community against her, because, he said, "She may do this at any time." Other speeches, brief and resolute, were made, and the meeting organized itself, Mr. H. E. Cooper being chosen chairman and W. O. Smith secretary.

The feeling of uncertainty and alarm was intense. No one could tell what would happen next, when the new constitution would be proclaimed, or whether martial law might not be declared at any moment, and the leading citizens be arrested before they could organize resistance. The meeting then proceeded to appoint a Committee of Public Safety of thirteen members, after which the assembly dispersed.

The Committee of Safety immediately held its first meeting with closed doors. ''Gentlemen," said one, "we are brought face to face with this question; what shall we do?" During the discussion which followed, all were convinced that the Queen's act was revolutionary, that there existed a virtual interregnum, or absence of lawful government, and that in view of her utter disregard of the constitution and laws, it had become necessary for the intelligent part of the community to organize in defense of their rights and for the security of life and property. A sub-committee was at once appointed to ascertain what amount of arms and ammunition was available, and to re-organize as soon as possible the four volunteer rifle companies which had been disbanded in 1890.

In view of the imminence of the danger, and the absence of preparation for this sudden crisis, the questions were raised whether protection should be sought from the Government of the United States, and what the attitude of its representatives would be. Accordingly another sub-committee of three, consisting of Messrs. L. A. Thurston, W. C. Wilder, and H. F. Glade, was appointed to wait upon the U. S. Minister, to ascertain from him what assistance, if any, could be expected from the U. S. cruiser Boston, and to report to the full Committee the next morning. It was then moved by Mr. L. A. Thurston "That preliminary steps be taken at once to form and declare a Provisional Government with a view to Annexation to the United States." The seriousness of such a step was fully admitted by all but it was the unanimous opinion that some such action was necessary, and the Committee adjourned about 6 P. M., to meet the following (Sunday) morning at the residence of Mr. W. R. Castle.

The Interview Between The Sub-Committee And Minister Stevens

The above mentioned sub-committee called upon Mr. Stevens, the U. S. Minister, about 7 o'clock the same evening and, having explained the situation to him, inquired what the attitude of the U. S. forces would be. His reply was that "the United States troops on board of the Boston would be ready to land at any moment to prevent the destruction of life or property of American citizens, and that as to the matter of establishing a Provisional Government, he, of course, would recognize the existing government, whatever it might be."

Mr. Thurston informed Mr. Stevens that the proposition of establishing a Provisional Government was under consideration, and in case it should be carried out, he asked Mr. Stevens what his attitude would be. Mr. Stevens replied that whatever government was established and actually in possession of the city, and that was a de facto government, proclaiming itself as a government, would necessarily have to be recognized.

The Conference Held Saturday Evening

A number of leading citizens met at Mr. Thurston's house at 8 P. M. to discuss the situation and to make some plans for a Provisional Government, in case "the extreme measure of dethroning the Queen should finally be deemed necessary." Among others, Messrs. W. R. Castle, A. S. Hartwell, S. B. Dole, C. L. Carter, W. O. Smith, and F. W. Wundenberg were present.

Mr. Thurston reported the result of his interview with Minister Stevens. Under strong excitement it was arranged that different persons present should commence drafting papers. Mr. Castle undertook to draft a preliminary historical statement which would serve as a preamble. Mr. Thurston was to work upon the subject of the form of a Provisional Government. Messrs. Hartwell and Dole were not yet prepared to take part in the movement. During the evening Mr. Wundenberg reported that he had not been able to find arms for more than sixty men. Soon after this a German organization, numbering about eighty, nick-named the "Drei Hundert," offered their services and their arms to the Committee. The meeting continued until a late hour.

Sunday, January 15, 1893 – The Offer Made To Colburn And Peterson

The Marshal was fully informed of what was going on, Sunday was a day of preparation on both sides. Kurly but contented himself with closing the saloons at 9 P. M., on Sunday morning (6:30 A. M.), Mr. Thurston called upon and putting on an extra police force during the night. Messrs. Colburn and Peterson with a proposition from the Committee of Safety that the Cabinet should take the lead of the movement to depose the Queen and establish a Provisional Government/ He also renewed the proposal that the Cabinet should sign a request to Minister Stevens to have troops landed from the Boston in order to assist them in maintaining order. At their request he gave the names of the members of the Committee of Safety. They asked for twenty-four hours in which to consider the matter, to which Mr. Thurston replied that the Committee of Safety would not wait, but would proceed independently to carry out their programme if the Cabinet did not take the lead.

After his departure they sent for Messrs. Parker and Cornwell and consulted with them. Later in the day, Marshal Wilson being alarmed by the reports brought in by his detectives from all quarters, requested the Cabinet to meet him at the Station House. After he had been informed of Mr. Thurston's interview with Colburn and Peterson, he proposed to swear out warrants forthwith for the arrest of the Committee of Safety. To this Mr. Peterson objected, stating that their arrest might lead to a collision with the United States troops, who, he said, would be landed in any case. Marshal Wilson, however, appears to have been quite willing to test the question as to whether they would interfere or not. It was then agreed that they should ascertain from Minister Stevens himself whether he would -assist the Committee of Safety with the forces on the Boston, and also seek advice from certain influential residents who were friendly to the Queen. The same forenoon (Sunday), the Queen held a meeting at the Palace, and charged the native pastors present to pray for her, as evil-minded foreigners were endeavoring to deprive her of her throne. It is evident also that during the day she became reconciled with her Ministers, at least for the time.

The Second Meeting Of The Committee Of Safety

The Committee of Thirteen met at W. R. Castle's residence at 9 A. M. and remained in session until noon. After receiving reports from their committees, they decided to call a mass meeting of citizens to meet at 2 p. M. of the next day (Monday), at the old armory on Beretania street, in order to ascertain the real sentiments of the community. It was decided to make a report at that time, and then to ask the meeting to confirm the appointment of the Committee of Safety, and to give it full authority to take whatever steps might be necessary to secure the rights of the people from further aggression. If public opinion, as manifested at the mass meeting, should demand the abrogation of the Monarchy, it would be necessary that the Committee should be fully prepared to carry out such demand. The work of organization and preparation was therefore actively continued.

The general form which the Provisional Government should take was reported on by Mr. Thurston. A committee was appointed to prepare papers and secure speakers for the mass meeting, and the call for it was printed and posted that same (Sunday) afternoon.

The Poster

 " A mass meeting of citizens will be held at the Beretania street armory on Monday, January 16, at 2 p. M., to consider the present critical situation. Let all business places be closed.

PER ORDER OF COMMITTEE OF SAFETY. Honolulu, January 15, 1893."

After the meeting adjourned, about 1 P. M., Messrs. Thurston and Smith called again upon the American Minister and informed him of what was going on. While Mr. Stevens gave them assurance of his purpose to protect life and property, he emphasized the fact that he could not recognize any government until actually established. /He repeated the statement that the United States troops, if landed, would not take sides with either party, but would protect the property and lives of American citizens.

Proceedings Of The Queen's Party Sunday Afternoon

About 1:30 P. M. of that Sunday, the Cabinet held a consultation in the Foreign Office with several gentlemen of conservative character, viz.: Messrs. F. A. Schaefer, J. O. Carter, S. M. Damon, W. M. Giffard, S. C. Allen and E. C. Macfarlane, who had come at their request. Mr. Peterson informed them of the proposition made to himself and Colburn that morning by Mr. Thurston. He asked whether it would be expedient for the Cabinet to apply to the U. S. Minister for assistance in maintaining the authority of the Queen's government. They inquired whether the Government was able to suppress any uprising, to which he replied that the Government had ample force to meet any emergency that might arise. If so, Mr. Carter advised the Cabinet by no means to request the landing of the United States troops. A remark by Mr. Damon gave rise to a discussion as to the possibility of their landing without such a request. The question was then asked whether the Queen had abandoned the idea of proclaiming a new Constitution, to which Mr. Parker replied in the affirmative. All were agreed that in that case the Queen and Cabinet should unite in issuing a proclamation giving the public satisfactory assurance on that point. In fact, Mr. Carter had already drafted a declaration to that effect.

Notice was afterward sent to Messrs. Thurston and Smith that the Cabinet would 'like to meet a committee of five from' the Committee of Safety the next morning.

The same evening, about 7:30 o'clock, Messrs. Parker and Peterson called upon Minister Stevens, to ascertain from him "what stand he would take in behalf of his Government, in the event of an armed insurrection against the Queen's government."

There is a conflict of testimony in regard to what passed, and nothing was put in writing at the time. It seems to be certain, however, that Mr. Stevens declined to promise assistance to the Queen in such an event. On the subject of landing troops, he appears to have uniformly maintained a diplomatic reserve.

Later on, about 8:30 P. M., the Cabinet met again at the Attorney-General's office, Messrs. C. B. Wilson, Paul Neumann, E. C. Macfarlane, R. W. Wilcox, C. T. Gulick, Dr. Trousseau, A. Rosa, and others being present. Mr. Peterson related his interview with the U. S. Minister, and the subject of the landing of United States troops was again discussed.

Marshal Wilson made a report on the available forces at the command of the Government, and proposed that martial law be proclaimed, and that the Committee of Safety be arrested at once, but Messrs. Neumann and Peterson both opposed such action on the ground that it might precipitate a conflict, which they should at all hazards avoid. It was then decided to call a counter mass meeting of loyal Hawaiians at Palace Square, to take place at the same time as the other, and a committee was appointed to draw up resolutions and prepare a programme for the occasion.

The same evening part of the Committee of Safety met at Mr. Thurston's house, where their work was further arranged, and the different parts of it were assigned.

Monday, January 16, 1893 – The Queen's Retraction

On Monday morning about half-past eight, Mr. Parker took the declaration (which had been originally drafted by Mr. J. O. Carter), to the Queen and persuaded her to sign it, but not without omissions and changes which greatly impaired its effect. It was then signed by her Ministers and printed and circulated through the city about 11 A. M. It was as follows:


Her Majesty's Ministers desire to express their appreciation for the quiet and order which has prevailed in this community since the events of Saturday, and are authorized to say that the position is taken by Her Majesty in regard to the promulgation of a new Constitution, was under the stress of Her native subjects.

Authority is given for the assurance that any changes desired in the fundamental law of the land will be sought only by methods provided in the Constitution itself.

Her Majesty's Ministers request all citizens to accept the assurance of Her Majesty in the same spirit in which it is given.

SAMUEL PARKER, Minister of Foreign Affairs
W. H. CORNWELL, Minister of Finance
JOHN F. COLBURN, Minister of the Interior
A. P. PETERSON, Attorney- General

IOLANI PALACE, January 16th, 1893

This retraction, however, came to late to save the Monarchy. It was looked upon by many as a humiliating evidence of panic upon the part of the Queen's government.

Her intrigues during Kalakaua's reign, and her course in regard to the lottery bill, had already destroyed all confidence in her word, while little reliance was placed on the integrity or firmness of her Cabinet. She has since then plainly shown that she never forgave her Ministers for their disobedience on the 14th of January, 1893, nor ever gave up the hope of realizing her ideal of government.

The same morning she sent for S. M. Damon and asked his advice. He recommended that she should call in the diplomatic representatives of the great powers and consult with them without delay.

Third Meeting Of The Committee Of Safety

The Committee of Safety met at 9 o'clock on Monday morning in Mr. Thurston's law office, over Bishop's bank. Soon afterward Marshal Wilson came into the office and called Mr. Thurston into an adjoining room for a private interview. Their conversation was substantially as follows:

Mr. Wilson said he wished the mass meeting to be stopped. Mr. Thurston replied "It can't be stopped; it is too late." Mr. Wilson said that the Queen had abandoned her idea of promulgating a new Constitution, and that a proclamation to that effect was about to be issued. To this Mr. Thurston replied, "What guarantee have we that this will not happen again? It is like living on a volcano; there is no telling when it will break out." Mr. Wilson replied, ''I will guarantee that she will not attempt it again, even if I have to lock her up to keep her from doing it." Thurston said, "Suppose you were to die tonight, what then? We are not willing to accept that guarantee as sufficient. This thing has gone on from bad to worse until we are not going to stand it any longer. We mean to take no chances in the matter, but to settle it now, once for all." Mr. Wilson expressed his regret that they could not agree on any compromise, and left the office. He immediately proceeded to enlist volunteers and special constables, and proposed to the Attorney-General to arrest the Committee of Safety at once, but was refused permission to do so.

A sub-committee of five, consisting of Messrs. W. C. Wilder, C. Bolte, F. W. McChesney, J. A. McCandless and H. Waterhouse, was sent about 10 A. M. to confer with the Cabinet, at their request, in the Foreign Office. The Ministers showed them the proclamation signed by themselves and the Queen, promising that she would not renew her attempt to abrogate the Constitution, and claimed that this ought to be a final settlement of the controversy. The committee asked why the Ministry had called a mass meeting for 2 o'clock at Palace Square, to which Mr. Parker replied, "to draw the crowd away from your meeting."

They then returned and reported to the Committee of Safety, which continued in session till noon, with many interruptions.

The reports brought in by those who had been canvassing for volunteers, showed that no half-way measure, such as a Regency, would stand any chance of success. The general demand was for a Provisional Government, looking toward annexation to the United States as its ultimate goal. Although Mr. Thurston was ill, it was decided that he should open the mass meeting, and that Mr. W. C. Wilder should act as its chairman.

The Request For The Landing Of Troops

Many warnings and threats of house burning and other outrages had been reported to the committee, and it was decided to request the U. S. Minister to cause troops to be landed for the protection of life and property. It was feared by many that during the expected conflict for the possession of the Government buildings, lawless outrages might be perpetrated in other quarters of the city.

Accordingly, a request of the residents to Minister Stevens for the landing of United States troops which had been drawn up, was signed by the Committee of Safety. Certain unsuitable passages in it were stricken out, but inadvertently the last sentence, (which as coming from the Committee of Safety was inconsistent with the facts), was allowed to remain.

A number of copies of the same were type-written and taken to the mass meeting to be circulated there for signatures, which plan, however, was not carried out. During the mass meeting the copy signed by the Committee was taken to Minister Stevens. It was as follows :

Honolulu, January 16, 1893


Sir : We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Honolulu, respectfully represent that in view of recent public events in this Kingdom, culminating in the revolutionary acts of Queen Liliuokalani on Saturday last, the public safety is menaced and lives and properly are in peril, and we appeal to you and the United States forces at your command for assistance.

The Queen, with the aid of armed force, and accompanied by threats of violence and bloodshed from those with whom she was acting, attempted to proclaim a new Constitution, and while prevented for the time from accomplishing her object, declared publicly that she would only defer her action.

This conduct and action was upon an occasion and under circumstances which have created general alarm and terror. We are unable to protect ourselves without aid, and therefore pray for the protection of the United States forces.



Citizens' Committee of Safety

The Mass Meeting At The Armory

At 2 P. M., Monday, January 16, the Honolulu Rifles' Armory was the scene of the largest and most enthusiastic mass meeting ever held in Honolulu. It was called by the Committee of Public Safety for the purpose of protesting against the revolutionary aggressions of the Queen. As the time approached all business was suspended, shops were closed, and but one subject was talked of. At half-past one citizens began to assemble, and before two o'clock the large building was crowded to its utmost capacity, 1260 being present by actual count, while many others came later. Every class in the community was fully represented, mechanics, merchants, professional men and artisans of every kind being present in full force. The meeting was intensely enthusiastic, being animated by a common purpose and feeling, and most of the speakers were applauded to the echo. Hon. W. C. Wilder, of the Committee of Safety, was the chairman.

Mr. Wilder said: Fellow citizens, I have been requested to act as chairman of this meeting. Were it a common occurrence, I should consider it an honor, but today we are not here to do honor to anybody. I accept the chairmanship of this meeting as a duty. (Applause) We meet here today as men not as any party, faction or creed, but as men who are bound to see good government. It is well known to you all what took place at the Palace last Saturday. I need not tell you the object of this meeting, and no such meeting has been held since 1887. There is the same reason now as then. An impromptu meeting of citizens was called Saturday to take measures for the public safety. The report of the committee will be read to you. We do not meet as revolutionists, but as peaceful citizens who have the right to meet and state their grievances. (Loud applause) We will maintain our rights, and have the courage to maintain them. (Universal cheers)

Mr. Thurston being introduced by the chairman, read the following Report Of The Committee Of Safety

To the Citizens of Honolulu :

On the morning of last Saturday, the 14th instant, the city was startled by the information that Her Majesty Queen Liliuokalani had announced her intention to arbitrarily promulgate a new Constitution, and that three of the newly appointed Cabinet Ministers had resigned, or were about to resign, in consequence thereof.

Immediately after the prorogation of the Legislature at noon the Queen, accompanied by her orders, by the Cabinet, retired to the Palace. The entire military force of the Government was drawn up in line in front of the building, and remained there until dark, and a crowd of several hundred native sympathizers with the new Constitution project gathered in the throne room and about the Palace. The Queen then retired with the Cabinet. : informed them that she intended to promulgate it, and proposed to do so then and there, and demanded that they countersign her signature.

She turned a deaf ear to their statements and protests that the proposed action would inevitably cause the streets of Honolulu to run red with blood, and threatened that unless they complied with her demand, she would herself immediately go out upon the steps of the Palace and announce to the assembled crowd that the reason she did not give them the new Constitution was because the Ministers would not let her. Three of the Ministers, fearing mob violence, immediately withdrew and returned to the Government building. They were immediately summoned back to the Palace but refused to go, on the ground that there was no guarantee of their personal safety.

The only forces under the control of the Government are the Household Guards and the police. The former are nominally under the control of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and actually under the control of their immediate commander, Major Nowlein, a personal adherent of the Queen.

The police are under the control of Marshal Wilson, the open and avowed royal favorite. Although the Marshal is nominally under the control of the Attorney-General. Her Majesty recently announced in a public speech that she would not allow him to be removed. Although the Marshal now states that he is opposed to the Queen's proposition, he also states that if the final issue arises between the Queen and the Cabinet and people, he will support the Queen.

The Cabinet was absolutely powerless and appealed to citizens for support.

Later they reluctantly returned to the Palace, by request of the Queen, and for nearly two hours she again endeavored to force them to acquiesce in her desire, and upon their final refusal, announced in a public speech in the throne room, and again from the upper gallery of the Palace, that she desired to issue the Constitution but was prevented from doing so by her Ministers, and would issue it in a few days.

The citizens responded to the appeal of the Cabinet to resist the revolutionary attempt of the Queen, by gathering at the office of William O. Smith.

Later in the afternoon it was felt that bloodshed and riot were imminent; that the community could expect no protection from the legal authorities; that, on the contrary, they would undoubtedly be made the instruments of royal aggression. An impromptu meeting of citizens was held, which was attended by the Attorney-General, and which was addressed, among others, by the Minister of the Interior, J. F. Colburn, who stated to the meeting substantially the foregoing facts.

The meeting unanimously passed a resolution that the public welfare required the appointment of a Committee of Public Safety, of thirteen, to consider the situation and devise ways and means for the maintenance of the public peace and the protection of life and property. Such a committee was forthwith appointed and has followed its instructions.

The first step which the committee consider necessary is to secure openly, publicly and peaceably, through the medium of a mass meeting of citizens, a condemnation of the proceedings of the party of revolution and disorder, and a confirmation from such larger meeting of the authority now vested in the committee.

For such purpose the committee hereby recommends the adoption of the following:


1. WHEREAS Her Majesty Liliuokalani, acting in conjunction with certain other persons, has illegally and unconstitutionally, and against the advice and consent of the lawful executive officers of the Government, attempted to abrogate the existing Constitution and proclaim a new one in subversion of the rights of the people;

2. AND WHEREAS such attempt has been accompanied by threats of violence and bloodshed and a display of armed force; and such attempt and acts and threats are revolutionary and treasonable in character;

3. AND WHEREAS Her Majesty's Cabinet have informed her that such contemplated action was unlawful and would lead to bloodshed and riot, and have implored and demanded of her to desist from and renounce such proposed action;

4. AND WHEREAS such advice has been in vain, and Her Majesty has in a public speech announced that she was desirous and ready to promulgate such Constitution, the same being now ready for such purpose, and that the only reason why it was not now promulgated was because she had met with unexpected obstacles and that a fitting opportunity in the future must be awaited for the consummation of such object, which would be within a few days;

5. AND WHEREAS at a public meeting of citizens held in Honolulu on the 14th day of January, instant, a Committee of Thirteen, to be known as the "COMMITTEE OF PUBLIC SAFETY," was appointed to consider the situation and to devise ways and means for the maintenance of the public peace and safety and the preservation of life and property;

6. AND WHEREAS such Committee has recommended the calling of this mass meeting of citizens to protest against and condemn such action and has this day presented a report to this meeting denouncing the action of the Queen and her supporters as being unlawful, unwarranted ; in derogation of the rights of the people ; endangering the peace of the community, and tending to excite riot, and cause the loss of life and destruction of property; Now, THEREFORE, WE, the Citizens of Honolulu of all nationalities and regardless of political party affiliations, do hereby condemn and denounce the action of the Queen and her supporters;

AND WE DO HEREBY ratify the appointment and endorse the action taken and report made by the said Committee of Safety and we do hereby further empower such committee to further consider the situation and further devise such ways and means as may be necessary to secure the permanent maintenance of law and order and the protection of life, liberty and property in Hawaii.

Mr. Thurston said in substance: Mr. Chairman: Hawaii is a wonderful country. We are divided into parties and nationalities and factions, but there are moments when we are united and move shoulder to shoulder, moved by one common desire for the public good. Three times during the past twelve years this has happened in 1880, 1887 and to-day. They say it is ended, it is done, there is nothing to consider. Is it so? (Calls of No! No!) I say gentlemen, that now and here is the time to act. (Loud cheers) The Queen says she won't do it again. (Cries of humbug!) Fellow citizens, have you any memories? Hasn't she once before promised sworn solemnly before Almighty God to maintain this Constitution? What is her word worth? (Calls of Nothing! Nothing!) It is an old saying that a royal promise is made to be broken. Fellow citizens, remember it. We have not sought this situation. Last Saturday the sun rose on a peaceful and smiling city; to-day it is otherwise. Whose fault is it? Queen Liliuokalani's. It is not her fault that the streets have not run red with blood. She has printed a proclamation expressing her repentance for what she has done and at the same time perhaps sent out by the same carriers her organ prints an extra with her speech with bitterer language than that quoted in the Advertiser. She wants us to sleep on a slumbering volcano, which will some morning spew out fire and destroy us all. The Constitution gives us the right to assemble peacefully and express our grievances. We are here doing that to-day without arms. The man who has not the. spirit to rise after the menace to our liberties has no right to keep them. Has the tropic sun thinned our blood, or have we flowing in our veins the warm, rich blood which makes men love liberty and die for it ? I move the adoption of the resolution. (Tumultuous applause.)

Mr. H. F. Glade: The Queen has done an unlawful thing in ignoring the constitution which she had sworn to uphold. We most decidedly protest against such revolutionary proceedings, and we should do all we possibly can to prevent her from repeating actions which result in disorder and riot. We now have a promise from the Queen that such proceedings as we experienced on Saturday shall not occur again. But we should have such assurances and guarantees for this promise as will really satisfy us and convince us of the faith and earnestness of the promise given, of which we now have no assurance. What such guarantees and assurances ought to be I cannot at this moment say or recommend. This should be referred to the Committee of Safety for their careful consideration. I second the motion.

Mr. A. Young, in addressing the meeting, spoke as follows: Mr. Chairman and fellow citizens In June, 1887, I stood on this same platform and addressed an audience almost as large as the one now before me. At that time we had met to consider a resolution that looked toward a new constitution, which proposed constitution was considered the most effectual method of removing some flagrant abuses in governmental affairs practiced by the King and his Cabinets prior 'to the time that the constitution was promulgated.

To-day we have met to consider the action of Her Majesty in attempting to set aside the constitution we all worked so hard to have promulgated, in the' best interests of the sovereign and the people at large, as well as for the redemption of the credit of the kingdom abroad. It has long been reported that at some favorable opportunity the Queen would spring a new constitution upon the people and place matters even more in the hands of the sovereign than they were before the revolution of 1887. Some did not believe the rumors, but the actions of the Queen in the last few days have convinced the most skeptical that the rumors were well founded, and that she had been pregnant with this unborn constitution for a long time, but it could not be born till under the propitious star. The Queen's kahunas, together with her would-be advisers had no doubt told her that the auspicious time for the advent had arrived. In trying to promulgate this long-promised constitution, the Queen has therefore premeditatedly committed a breach of faith with one portion of her subjects, in order to satisfy the clamors of a faction of natives urged by the influence of a mischievous element of foreigners who mean no good to the Queen or the people, but simply for the purpose of providing avenues for carrying out more perfectly the smuggling of opium and diverting the contents of the treasury into their own pockets.

A "By Authority" circular has now been handed around setting forth that the Queen and her Cabinet had decided not to press the promulgation of a new Constitution, but can we depend on this promise of Her Majesty? Is this promise any more binding upon her than the oath she took before the Almighty God to support and maintain the present Constitution? Has not the Queen resorted to very questionable methods in an underhanded way to remove what, to the people, was one of the most acceptable Cabinets ever commissioned by any sovereign in this Kingdom, in order that four other Ministers might be appointed that would carry out her behest, treasonable, or otherwise, as might be most conveniently within their scope. I say, have we any reasonable assurance that the Queen and her Ministers have abandoned finally the new Constitution promulgation scheme? (Roars of No! from the audience) My fellow citizens, while the Queen and her Cabinet continue to trifle with and play fast and loose with the affairs of State, there can be no feeling of security for foreign families residing within these domains. There can be no business prosperity here at home, and our credit abroad must be of the flimsiest and most uncertain nature. And you business men who are toiling honestly for your bread and butter will have to put up with thin bread and much thinner butter if this farcical work is continued. In order that matters may be set to rights again and that honest, stable and honorable government may be maintained in Hawaii, I support the resolution and trust that it will be passed unanimously by this meeting.

Mr. C. Bolte spoke in a similar strain, and was followed by Hon. H. P. Baldwin: I feel with the rest of you, that the actions of the Queen have put the country in a very critical situation. Before this revolutionary act of Her Majesty, we were getting along. A Ministry had been appointed which would probably have been able to pull us through. The McKinley bill had put the whole country into a critical situation. We were working up new industries. Mr. Dillingham is trying to build a railroad around this island. The Queen seems to have blinded herself to all these things. She has followed a whim of her own a whim of an irresponsible body of Hawaiians and tried to establish a new Constitution. We must stop this; but we must not go beyond Constitutional means. I favor the resolution, but think the committee should act within the Constitution. There is no question that the Queen has done a revolutionary act there is no doubt about that. The Queen's proclamation has not inspired confidence; but shall we not teach her to act within the Constitution? (Loud calls of "No!") Well, gentlemen, I see that you do not agree with me, but I am ready to act when the time comes.

J. Emmeluth wished to say a few words on the situation. He had heard the Queen's speech at the palace, and noted the expression of her face. It was fiendish. When the petitioners filed out he reflected on the fact that thirty men could paralyze the business of the community for twenty-four hours. It was not they that did it, but the schemers behind them, and perhaps a woman too. It was not the Hawaiians that wanted the new Constitution; not those who worked. This was the third time that he had shut his doors, let his men go, and come up to this building.

It would be the last time. If we let this time go by we should deserve all we should get. An opportunity came once in every lifetime. It had come to us, and if we finished as we should, a repetition of last Saturday would never occur in this country again. (Applause) We must stand shoulder to shoulder. There vvas but one course to pursue, and we should all see it. The manifesto of this morning was bosh. "I won't do it any more; but give me a chance and I'll do it again." This is the real meaning of it. If the Queen had succeeded last Saturday, myself and you would have been robbed of the privileges without which no white man can live in this community. "Fear not, be not afraid," was written in my Bible by my mother twenty-five years ago. Gentlemen, I have done. As far as the Hawaiians are concerned, I have an aloha for them, and we wish to have laws enabling us to live peaceably together.

R. J. Greene spoke earnestly in like tone. The Chairman then read the resolution. It was passed by a unanimous standing vote, without a dissenting voice, amid tremendous cheers, after which the meeting broke up.

The Mass Meeting at Palace Square

The so-called "law and order meeting" of natives at Palace Square, which had been called by the Ministry for 2 P. M., has been variously estimated all the way from 500 to 3000. The writer estimated it at the time to be about half as large as the meeting at the Armory. It was a tame and dispirited meeting, the speakers being under strict orders to express themselves with great caution and moderation. Addresses were made by Messrs. A Rosa, J. E. Bush, J. Nawahi, W. White and R. W. Wilcox, who cautioned the natives against any violence or disorder, and supported the following resolutions which were adopted:

"Resolved, That the assurance of Her Majesty, the Queen, contained in this day's proclamation is accepted by the people as a satisfactory guarantee that the Government does not and will not seek any modification of the Constitution by any other means than those provided in the organic law : Resolved, That accepting this assurance, the citizens here assembled will give their cordial support to the administration and endorse them in sustaining that policy."

Thus a meeting chiefly composed of the advocates of a new constitution, the leaders of which had conspired with the Queen to secure such constitution, voted an expression of thanks to her for renouncing her attempt to establish it.

The tone of this meeting was constrained and unnatural, the only genuine enthusiasm being called out by expressions of sympathy with the attempted Coup d'etat of Saturday, the 14th.

Landing of the U.S. Troops

Immediately after the adjournment of the mass meeting Honolulu, the Committee of Safety met again at W. O. Smith's office.

All the members felt that their course had been fully endorsed, and that they would have the support of nearly the whole white population in proceeding to establish a provisional government. Their plans, however, were incomplete, and the new government not yet organized. Fearing that the landing of the U. S. troops would precipitate a conflict, before their own forces were ready, they sent Messrs. Thurston and Smith to the U. S. Legation to request Mr. Stevens to postpone it. This request certainly implied that they expected to fight their own battles.

He replied that "as a precautionary measure, and to protect the lives and property of American citizens, he had requested that the troops be landed at 5 o'clock and that they would land." After receiving their report the Committee adjourned. Marshal Wilson expected a speedy attack from the forces of the Committee of Safety, and put the Station house in a state of defense.

In view of the indications of approaching trouble, Minister Stevens had gone on board the Boston about 3 P. M. arid handed to Capt. Wiltse the following request:


To CAPTAIN G. C. WILTSE, Commander of the U. S. S. Boston.

"SIR: In view of the existing critical circumstances in Honolulu, indicating an inadequate force, I request you to land marines and sailors from the ship under your command for the protection of the United States Legation and United States Consulate, and to secure the safety of American life and property."

(Signed) JOHN L. STEVENS, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States

Capt. G. C. Wiltse                                  His Ex. J. L. Stevens

Mr. Stevens, however, found that Capt. Wiltse had anticipated his request, having his force already prepared for landing, and having written the following order, which was based upon the standing rules of the Navy and Secretary Bayard's instructions to Mr. Merrill in 1887, and which went further than Mr. Stevens' request by directing the force "to assist in preserving public order."


"LIEUTENANT COMMANDER W. T. SWINBURNE, U. S. Navy, Executive Officer of U. S. S. Boston.

"SIR: You will take command of the battalion, and land in Honolulu, for the purpose of protecting our legation, consulate and the lives and property of American citizens, and to assist in preserving public order.

"Great prudence must be exercised by both officers and men and no action taken that is not fully warranted by the condition of affairs, and by the conduct of those who may be inimical to the treaty rights of American citizens.

''You will inform me at the earliest practicable moment of any change in the situation."

Very respectfully,

G. C. WILTSE, Captain U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Boston

He also learned that previous to the two mass meetings the U. S. Consul-General, Mr. H. W. Severance, had sent Capt. Wiltse a note, warning him that there was danger of an outbreak on shore, and offering to inform him, if necessary, either by telephone, or if the wires should be cut, by setting his flag at half-mast.

Upon learning that the troops were not supplied with tents, Mr. Stevens undertook to secure some building for their accommodation, and left the ship about 4 p. M. At 5 P. M., Lieut. W. T. Swinburne landed at Brewer's wharf with a force of 162 officers and men, having one Gatling gun and one 37 millimeter revolving gun, and 80 rounds of ammunition to each man. Half of the marines were left at the U. S. Consulate, under the command of Lieut. Draper, and the remainder sent to the U. S. Legation on Nuuanu Avenue. Then the main body, comprising three companies of blue jackets, marched up King street past the Palace where the royal salute was given, and after a long halt between Likelike and Punchbowl streets bivouacked in Mr. Atherton's grounds, awaiting further orders.

Meanwhile Mr. Stevens sent a note to Mr. Giffard of the firm of Irwin & Co., asking for the temporary use of the Opera House, which was refused. On further inquiry he was told of the building in the rear of the Opera House, called Arion Hall, which he finally secured after applying for it, first to Mr. J. S. Walker, and then to Mr. Waller, the lessee. These circumstances go to show that the selection of this building was not premeditated, although it was unfortunate.

The troops marched down after 9 P. M. and took up their quarters there for, the night. The knowledge of the fact that the U. S. troops were on shore undoubtedly served to repress disorder and gave the community a grateful sense of security. There was a band concert at the Hawaiian Hotel that evening which was well attended. During the night, however, two incendiary fires were started, one at Emma Square and the other on the plains, which were promptly extinguished.

Protests Against The Landing

Immediately after the landing of the U. S. troops, Mr. Parker and Gov. Cleghorn called on Mr. Stevens and asked him why they had landed. He replied that the circumstances were such that he had felt compelled to take the responsibility. They afterwards sent him formal protests in writing, to which he replied that "In whatever the United States diplomatic and naval representatives have done or may do, at this critical hour of Hawaiian Affairs, we will be guided by the kindest views and feelings for all the parties concerned, and by the warmest sentiments for the Hawaiian people and persons of all nationalities."

There is a diplomatic ambiguity in this language which was not reassuring.

It appears from the statement by Dr. Trousseau, that the representatives of Great Britain, France and Portugal also made an informal call on Mr. Stevens early in the evening, to inquire of him why the troops had been landed. He is said to have replied in substance that great -alarm was felt by many of the residents, and that his object was to preserve law and order. No protest was filed by them.

During the night Marshal Wilson urged the Attorney-General to have martial law proclaimed the next morning, and showed him a proclamation to that effect, ready for signing.

He also proposed to place an armed force in the Government building, but Mr. Peterson raised objections to both prosposals, and nothing was done.

Meeting Op The Committee Of Safety Monday Evening

The Committee of Safety met again at 8 P. M. at the resistances were such that he had felt compelled to take the derice of Mr. Henry Waterhouse. Three of the leading members were prevented by illness from attending, viz.: Messrs. W. R. Castle, L. A. Thurston and W. C. Wilder.

Besides the Committee several well known citizens, viz.: Messrs. Alexander Young, J. H. Soper, Cecil Brown, H. P. Baldwin and F. W. Wundenburg were present. Judge Dole was chosen as President and Mr. C. Bolte was appointed to wait upon him and invite his attendance at the meeting.

He came with reluctance, and at first declined the offer, stating that he was not yet convinced that the time had come for so radical a step as the abrogation of monarchy.

He admitted that the manifest destiny of the islands was annexation to the United States, arid that the Queen had forfeited the throne, but was not sure that a Regency, in the name of Kaiulani might not be the best solution of the problem.

At length he consented to take the matter under advisement, and to give his final answer at l0 o'clock next morning.

A committee was appointed to make a list of names of suitable persons who would be willing to serve in an Executive Council of five and an Advisory Council of eight members. Mr. Soper was requested to take command of the military forces, to which he consented conditionally. The assertion that a committee was sent from this meeting to confer with Mr. Stevens has been fully proved to be false. Mr. Cecil Brown declined to serve in the Executive Council, but afterwards joined the Advisory Council. A committee of three was appointed to procure additional arms and ammunition, and the meeting adjourned near midnight.

Tuesday, January 17th, 1893, will ever be a memorable day in the history of the Hawaiian Islands.

Mr. Damon's interview with the queen

About 9 A. M. Mr. S. M. Damon called on the Queen and informed her that he had decided to join the party which had for its object the abrogation of monarchy and annexation to the United States. He advised her not to resist what was inevitable, but to submit, as resistance would only cause useless bloodshed. According to her own statement she asked him to accept an appointment to the Advisory Council, thinking that in that position he might be of service to her, from which it may fairly be inferred that she had already decided to submit.

Last Meeting Of The Committee Of Safety

The Committee of Safety met at 10 A. M. in Mr. W. O. Smith's office. It was voted that the number of members of the Advisory Council be increased from eight to thirteen, and the list of members decided upon. Meanwhile Mr. L. A. Thurston dictated the proclamation of the provisional government from a sick bed. Hon. S. B. Dole, having sent his resignation as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court to Mr. S. Parker, the then premier, came before the Committee of Safety about 11 A. M., and announced that he would accept the position offered him, of president of the Executive Council. Reflection had convinced him that no half-way measure like a Regency would be practicable or satisfactory. Mr. S. M. Damon also came in for the first time. It was decided to charter the steamer Claudine for a trip to San Francisco. The Committee then took a recess until 1:30 P. M.

S. B. Dole
President of The Republic of Hawaii

Proceedings Of The Queen's Party

Marshal Wilson, in his written statement, says, that before 11 A.M. he was informed that the Committee of Safety "would move on the Government house at 3 P. M., and on the Police Station at 4 P. M., and that they would rendezvous at the Armory on Beretania street." He says that he sent for the Cabinet, "but there were no signs of the Cabinet," till 2 p. M. If they had garrisoned and held the Government building, as the then legal government, the proximity of the United States troops would have merely served to strengthen their position against any attack by the revolutionists. It seems that Mr. C. J. McCarthy, (clerk of the legislature of 1892), had been placed by Mr. Wilson in charge of the building, but waited there in vain for a force that never came. Several thousand cartridges were afterwards found in the Foreign Office, probably intended for its defense. Mr. Wilson notified Capt. Nowlein to station part of his men in the basement of the palace, and massed his regular police and specials at the Station house. He is said to have sent the Queen a message at 11 A.M. and again at 1 P. M., by no means to yield. 

As near as can be ascertained, the Queen had 65 soldiers at the barracks, and 110 regular police, besides a considerable number of volunteers, of whom no register can be found. They had abundance of rifles, one Gatling gun and a battery of eight field pieces, but they lacked skill to use them as well as confidence in their cause, and above all, competent leaders.

To judge from their conduct, the Queen's Cabinet were overawed by the unanimity and determination of the foreign community, and probably had an exaggerated idea of the force at the command of the Committee of Safety. They shrank from the responsibility of causing fruitless bloodshed, and sought a valid excuse for inaction, which they thought they found in the presence of the United States troops on shore, and in the well known sympathy of the American Minister with the opposition.

At a meeting of the Cabinet held in the forenoon, it was decided to call a conference of the diplomatic corps at 1 P. M. which was done. Mr. Stevens declined to attend, but the representatives of Great Britain, France, Portugal and Japan met with the Cabinet in the Foreign Office. According to Mr. Parker, they advised the Cabinet "to make no resistance" to the coming revolution. About this time the following letter was sent to Minister Stevens:

Sir: The assurance conveyed by a royal proclamation by myself and Ministers yesterday, having been received by my native subjects and by them ratified at a mass meeting, was received in a different spirit by the meeting representing the foreign population and interests in my kingdom. It is now my desire to give your excellency, as the diplomatic representative of the United States of America at my court, the solemn assurance that the present constitution will be upheld by me and by my ministers, and no changes will be made except by the method therein provided. I desire to express to your excellency this assurance in the spirit of that friendship which has ever existed between my kingdom and that of the Government of the United States of America, and which I trust will long continue.


R. SAMUEL PARKER, Minister of Foreign Affairs

WILLIAM H. CORNWELL, Minister of Finance

JOHN F. COLBURN, Minister of Interior

A. P. PETERSON, Attorney-General

lolani Palace, Honolulu, Jan. 17, 1893

A little before 2 p. M. the whole Cabinet drove out to Mr. Stevens' residence, to ascertain whether he would afford any assistance to the Queen's government, in case it should be required. As Mr. Stevens was suffering from a severe attack of illness, he received only two of them in his private office, viz., Messrs. Parker and Peterson. The latter went into a legal argument to prove that they were the legal government, and as such could properly ask the aid of the United States naval forces to sustain the Queen. Mr. Stevens replied ''Gentlemen, these men were landed for one purpose only, a pacific purpose, and we cannot take part in any contest. I cannot use this force for sustaining the Queen or anybody else." The Cabinet then hastened to the Station house, where they remained during the rest of the afternoon.

Closing Action Of The Committee Of Safety

The Committee of Safety met again at 2 p. M. At this meeting the Executive Counsel was reduced in number from five to four members, the offices of President and Minister of Foreign Affairs being united in one person, while the Advisory Council was increased to fourteen members. The Committee of Safety signed the proclamation, and the Executive Council signed the commission of John H. Soper, as commander of the forces. The papers were completed by 2:30 P. M., and word was sent for the four volunteer companies to assemble at the armory and move from there on he Government building.

Judiciary Building (Former Government Building)


Mr. C. L. Carter had previously gone to the Government Building to see if there was a guard concealed there but found none. "There were but eight clerks in the building which ordinarily teemed with the Ministers, Judges and some forty or fifty officials and clerks." He also visited Arion Hall and asked Lieut. Swinburne to let him see his orders, to which he consented, saying, "You see my orders are to protect the Legation, the Consulate, and the lives and property of American citizens, and to assist in preserving order; I do not know how to interpret that; I can do it in but one way. If the Queen calls upon me to preserve order, I am going to do it."

At 2 P. M. the members of the Executive and Advisory Councils together with Mr. H. E. Cooper, Chairman of the Committee of Safety, left Mr. W. O. Smith's office, and proceeded on foot, most of them up Merchant street, and the rest up Queen street to the Government building. Just as they were starting, they saw and heard a pistol shot fired one block above, and people running from all directions towards that point. They hastened on, not without a keen sense of personal danger, but found their way entirely clear.

The Shot On Fort Street

That morning Mr. John Good had been appointed In the meantime the founders of the new government ordnance officer, and with three assistants had been collecting arms and ammunition from different stores. The loading of his wagon at E. O. Hall & Son's had been watched by several policemen, detailed for the purpose.

As the wagon was being driven out of the rear entrance on King street, a policeman snatched at the reins, and ordered a halt. As the driver kept on, he blew his whistle, and four or five more policemen came running up. A Fort street car had just crossed King street, and together with a passing dray, blocked the way for a few moments. As the wagon turned to go up Fort street, a struggle ensued, during which Mr. Good shot a policeman through the shoulder, on which the others fell back. The wagon was then driven at full speed up Fort street, pursued by two policemen in a hack, who were kept at a distance by rifles leveled at them from the wagon. Mr. Good and his men continued on up Fort street to School street, and then down Punchbowl street to the Armory, where they were glad to see Capt. Ziegler's company drawn up in line. The wounded man, whose name was Leialoha, was assisted by another officer and Mr. P. M. Rooney to the Station house, where he was attended to by Dr. Peterson. He was afterwards taken to the hospital, and in time entirely recovered from his wound.

The Provisional Government Declared

In the meantime, the founders of the new government had reached the Government building. All were unarmed. Only one of the volunteer riflemen had arrived, and none of the Queen's forces were in sight. The house was nearly "empty, swept and garnished." Lieut. Swinburne withdrew his men to the rear of Arion hall out of sight, to stack arms, and kept them at their company parades, except a single sentry pacing the lane in front.

Mr. Cooper then made demand upon Mr. Hassinger, the chief clerk of the Interior office, for possession of the building, and the demand was immediately complied with, there being no force with which any resistance could have been made. The Committee now proceeded to the public entrance, and here Mr. H. E. Cooper read to the gathering crowd the following proclamation:


In its earlier history Hawaii possessed a Constitutional Government honestly and economically administered in the public interest.

The Crown called to its assistance as advisers able, honest and conservative men whose integrity was unquestioned even by their political opponents.

The stability of the Government was assured; armed resistance and revolution unthought of, popular rights were respected and the privileges of the subject from time to time increased and the prerogatives of the Sovereign diminished by the voluntary acts of the successive Kings.

With very few exceptions this state of affairs continued until the expiration of the first few years of the reign of His late Majesty Kalakaua. At this time a change was discernible in the spirit animating the chief executive and in the influences surrounding the Throne. A steadily increasing disposition was manifested on the part of the King, to extend the Royal prerogatives; to favor adventurers and persons of no character or standing in the community; to encroach upon the rights and privileges of the people by steadily increasing corruption of electors, and by means of the power and influence of office holders and other corrupt means to illegitimately influence the elections, resulting in the final absolute control of not only the executive and legislative; but to a certain extent the judicial departments of the government, in the interest of absolutism.

This finally resulted in the revulsion of feeling and popular uprising of 1887, which wrested from the King a large portion of his ill-gotten powers.

The leaders of this movement were not seeking personal aggrandizement, political power or the suppression of the native government. If this had been their object it could easily have been accomplished, for they had the absolute control of the situation.

Their object was to secure responsible government through a representative Cabinet, supported by and responsible to the people's elected representatives. A clause to this effect was inserted in the Constitution and subsequently enacted by law by the Legislature, specifically covering the ground that, in all matters concerning the State the Sovereign was to act by and with the advice of the Cabinet and only by and with such advice.

The King willingly agreed to such proposition, expressed regret for the past, and volunteered promises for the future.

Almost from the date of such agreement and promises, up to the time of his death, the history of the Government has been a continual struggle between the King on the one hand and the Cabinet and the Legislature on the other, the former constantly endeavoring by every available form of influence and evasion to ignore his promises and agreements and regain his lost powers.

This conflict upon several occasions came to a crisis, followed each time by submission on the part of His Majesty, by renewed expressions of regret and promises to abide by the constitutional and legal restrictions in the future.

In each instance such promise was kept until a further opportunity presented itself, when the conflict was renewed in defiance and regardless of all previous pledges.

Upon the accession of Her Majesty Liliuokalani, for a brief period the hope prevailed that a new policy would be adopted.

This hope was soon blasted by her immediately entering into conflict with the existing Cabinet, who held office with the approval of a large majority of the Legislature, resulting in the triumph of the Queen and the removal of the Cabinet. The appointment of a new Cabinet subservient to her wishes and their continuance in office until a recent date gave no opportunity for further indication of the policy which would be pursued by Her Majesty until the opening of the Legislature in May of 1892.

The recent history of that session has shown a stubborn determination on the part of Her Majesty to follow the tactics of her late brother, and in all possible ways to secure an extension of the royal prerogatives and an abridgment of popular rights.

During the latter part of the session, the Legislature was replete with corruption; bribery and other illegitimate influences were openly utilized to secure the desired end, resulting in the final complete overthrow of all opposition and the inauguration of a Cabinet arbitrarily selected by Her Majesty in complete defiance of constitutional principles and popular representation.

Notwithstanding such result the defeated party peacefully submitted to the situation.

Not content with her victory, Her Majesty proceeded on the last day of the session to arbitrarily arrogate to herself the right to promulgate a new Constitution, which proposed among other things to disfranchise over one-fourth of the voters and the owners of nine-tenths of the private property of the Kingdom, to abolish the elected upper House of the Legislature and to substitute in place thereof an appointive one to be appointed by the Sovereign.

The detailed history of this attempt and of the succeeding events fn connection therewith is given in the report of the Committee of Public Safety to the citizens of Honolulu, and the resolution adopted at the mass meeting held on the 16th inst., the correctness of which report and the propriety of which resolution are hereby specifically affirmed.

The constitutional evolution indicated has slowly and steadily, though reluctantly, and regretfully, convinced an overwhelming majority of the conservative and responsible members of the community that independent, constitutional, representative and responsible government, able to protect itself from revolutionary uprisings and royal aggression is no longer possible in Hawaii under the existing system of government.

Five uprisings or conspiracies against the government have occurred within five years and seven months. It is firmly believed that the culminating< revolutionary attempt of last Saturday will, unless radical measures are taken, wreck our already damaged credit abroad and precipitate to final ruin our already overstrained financial condition ; and the guarantees of protection to life, liberty and property will steadily decrease and the political situation rapidly grow worse.

In this belief, and also in the firm belief that the action hereby taken is, and will be for the best personal, political and property interests of every citizen of the land.

We, citizens and residents of the Hawaiian Islands, organized and acting for the public safety and the common good, hereby proclaim as follows:

1. The Hawaiian Monarchical system of Government is hereby abrogated.

2. A Provisional Government for the control and management of public affairs and the protection of the public peace is hereby established, to exist until terms of union with the United States of America have been negotiated and agreed upon.

3. Such Provisional Government shall consist of an Executive Council of four members, who are hereby declared to be S. B. DOLE, J. A. KING, P. C. JONES, W. O. SMITH, Who shall administer the Executive Departments of the Government, the first named acting as President and Chairman of such Council and administering the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the others severally administering the Department of Interior, Finance and Attorney-General, respectively, in the order in which they are above enumerated, according to existing Hawaiian Law as far as may be consistent with this Proclamation ; and also of an Advisory Council which shall consist of fourteen members who are hereby declared to be















Such Advisory Council shall also have general legislative authority.

Such Executive and Advisory Councils shall, acting jointly, have power to remove any member of either Council and to fill such or any other vacancy.

4. All officers under the existing Government are hereby requested to continue to exercise their functions and perform the duties of their respective offices, with the exception of the following named persons:



SAMUEL PARKER, Minister of Foreign Affairs,

W. H. CORNWELL, Minister of Finance,

JOHN F. COLBURN, Minister of the Interior,

ARTHUR P. PETERSON, Attorney-General,

who are hereby removed from office.

5. All Hawaiian Laws and Constitutional principles not inconsistent herewith shall continue in force until further order of the Executive and Advisory Councils.

(Signed) HENRY. E. COOPER, Chairman













Committee of Safety

Honolulu, H. I., January 17th, 1893


The Volunteers

While the proclamation was being read Mr. S. M. Damon asked Mr. C. L. Carter to go over and ask Lieut. Swinburne if he would send them a guard. Lieut. Swinburne replied:

"Capt. Wiltse's orders are that I remain passive, or neutral."

By the time that the reading was finished, (2:30 p. M.) men of Company A under Capt. Ziegler, arrived on the double quick, in company order. Directly after, Company B under Capt. Potter, began to arrive. The grounds were then cleared and guards set at the gates and by 3 o'clock there were nearly 100 riflemen drawn up, awaiting orders.

An hour later it was estimated that there were about 200 volunteer troops present. During the afternoon until dark, citizens were continually arriving and being enrolled for service, and patrols were organized to guard the city and its suburbs during the night. At the same time a temporary military organization was formed with J. H. Soper at its head. He named as his aids George F. McLeod, D. B. Smith, John Good. Fred. Wundenberg and J. H. Fisher. Captains Hugh Gunn, George C. Potter, Charles Ziegler and J. M. Camara, Jr., were placed in command of the different companies.

Pickets were then stationed all over the city to carry out the provisions of Martial Law which had been proclaimed by the new government.

After the reading of the proclamation, the new government at once took possession of the Treasury and all the departments. The following orders were issued:


HONOLULU, H. I., Jan. 17th, 1893


ORDER No. 1.

All persons favorable to the Provisional Government of the Hawaiian Islands are hereby requested to forthwith report to the Government at the Government building to furnish the Government such arms and ammunition as they may have in their possession or control as soon as possible, in order that efficient and complete protection to life and property and the public peace may immediately and efficiently be put into operation.

ORDER No. 2.

It is hereby ordered and decreed that until further orders the right of the writ of habeas corpus is hereby suspended and Martial Law is hereby declared to exist throughout the Island of Oahu.

All liquor saloons were closed for a time.

Various Communications

Soon after the reading of the Proclamation President Dole sent notes to all the Diplomatic and Consular representatives of other governments, informing them of what had been done, and asking for their recognition of the Provisional Government. Mr. Stevens sent down his aid, Mr. Pringle, before 4 p. M. to the Government building to ascertain whether the Provisional Government was actually in possession.

- About the same time Major J. H. Wodehouse, the British Commissioner, with the British Vice-Consul, Mr. T. R. Walker, called upon President Dole, to verify the report of the occupation and to learn the object of the movement. After leaving the room he spoke of it as an oral recognition.

His formal written recognition was received on the 20th.

Mr. Fuji, the Japanese Consul-General, called a little later. About 4:30 p. M.. Capt. Wiltse and Lieut. Swinburne had an interview with President Dole in what had been the office of the Minister of the Interior. The situation was explained to them, and Capt. Wiltse was asked if he was prepared to recognize the new government. As Lieut. Swinburne states:

"In answer Capt. Wiltse asked if their Government had possession of the Police Station and barracks.

President Dole replied that they were not yet in possession of them, but expected to hear of it very soon. To this Capt. Wiltse replied: "Very well, gentlemen, I cannot recognize then the late ministry' was announced, and he withdrew.

Neither party suggested the idea of his assisting the Provisional Government. Nor had any recognition been received from Mr. Stevens.

The volunteer troops also understood that the United States blue jackets were under orders to remain neutral, and they fully, expected to fight their own battles.

Last Appeal Of The Cabinet To Stevens

Information of the proclamation of the Provisional Government had been promptly brought to the Station House by Mr. McCarthy and others. Mr. Wilson proposed to attack the Provisional Government before it had time to collect its forces, but Mr. Peterson objected that this course would only lead to a conflict with the United States troops. Accordingly, the Cabinet decided, after consulting Messrs. E. C. Macfarlane, A. Rosa and others, to address a letter to Minister Stevens in order to find out whether he had recognized or would recognize the Provisional Government. The letter was dictated by Mr. Peterson, and was as follows:

"HONOLULU, Jan. 17th, 1893

To His Excellency JOHN L. STEVENS, U. S. Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary

Sir: Her Hawaiian Majesty's Government having been informed that certain persons unknown to them have issued a proclamation declaring a Provisional Government to exist in opposition to Her Majesty's Government, and having pretended to depose the Queen, Her Cabinet and Marshal, and that certain treasonable persons at present occupy the Government building in Honolulu with an armed force, and pretending that your excellency, on behalf of the United States of America, has recognized such Provisional Government Her Majesty's Cabinet asks respectfully, has your excellency recognized said Provisional Government, and if not, Her Majesty's Government, under the above existing circumstances, respectfully requests the assistance of your government in preserving the peace of the country.

We have the honor, to be your excellency's obedient servants,

(Signed) SAMUEL PARKER, Minister of Foreign Affairs

WILLIAM H. CORNWELL, Minister of Finance

JOHN F. COLBURN, Minister of Interior

A. P. PETERSON, Attorney General

This letter was dispatched by Mr. C. L. Hopkins to Minister Stevens a little after 3 P. M.

As Mr. Stevens was ill, his daughter asked Mr. Hopkins to wait or to call again in an hour and he chose to wait. Mr. Stevens' reply which was received at the Station house near 4 P. M., has never been given to the public, but the substance of it may be gathered from the following entry on the files of the U. S. Legation:

U. S. LEGATION, HONOLULU, Jan. 17th, 1895

About 4 to 5 P. M. of this date am not certain of the precise time the note on file from the four ministers of the deposed Queen, inquiring if I had recognized the Provisional Government, came to my hands while I was lying sick on the couch. Not far from 5 P. M. I did not think to look at my watch I addressed a short note to Hon. Samuel Parker, Hon. Wm. H. Cornwell, Hon. John F. Colburn and Hon. A. P. Peterson, (no longer regarding them as ministers), informing them that I had recognized the Provisional Government.

(Signed) JOHN L. STEVENS, U. S. Minister

This reply from Mr. Stevens decided the Queen's Cabinet to resign, but it appears that his letter of recognition was not received by the Provisional Government till more than an hour later.

The Queen's Surrender

After receiving the above note from Mr. Stevens, the Queen's Cabinet sent Mr. Mehrtens, the Deputy Marshal, to the Government building, to invite the Executive Council to come to the Police Station for a conference. This, the Council refused to do, but sent an assurance to the Queen's Ministers of their personal safety, if they would come up and talk over the situation.

Accordingly, Messrs. Parker and Cornwell came up and held a brief conference. At their suggestion, Messrs. Damon and Bolte were deputed to accompany them back to the Police Station. On arriving there, a consultation was held in the deputy marshal's office, between Messrs. Damon and Bolte on one side and the Queen's Cabinet with Messrs. Neumann and E. C. Macfarlane on the other side, in regard to the surrender of the Station house and barracks.

The two former told the Queen's representatives, that their cause was lost, and that they would be responsible for useless bloodshed, if they persisted in holding out. Mr. Wilson refused to surrender except on the written order of the Queen and her Cabinet. The latter proposed to surrender under protest. Messrs. Bolte and Damon then returned (about 5 P. M.) in company with the four ministers, to the Government building, where they held a conference with the Executive Council in the Interior Office, President Dole said that he would prefer to settle the matter without recourse to arms, and made a demand upon them to deliver up to him what government property remained in their possession. They asked for a truce till the next day, which was refused. They then said that before a final answer could be given, it would be necessary for them to consult with the Queen, and asked that Mr. Damon should assist them in explaining the situation to her. Their own influence with her had been much impaired since the affair of the 14th.

About this time, not far from 5:30 p. M., Minister Stevens' recognition of the Provisional Government as the Government de facto, was brought in by Mr. Geo. H. Paris. It was as follows:


A Provisional Government having been duly constituted in the place of the recent government of Queen Liliuokalani, and said Provisional Government being in full possession of the Government buildings, the archives and the treasury, and in control of the Capitol of the Hawaiian Islands, I hereby recognize said Provisional Government as the de facto Government of the Hawaiian Islands.

(Signed) JOHN L. STEVENS, U. S. Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary

It should be observed in this connection that a recognition is a very different thing from an alliance. Although this recognition of the 'Provisional Government as the de facto Government, gave it the moral support of the U. S. Minister, it gave no one any reason to expect that the U. S. naval forces would depart in the slightest degree from their attitude, nor did it preclude a trial of strength between the opposing parties.

In the mean time Mr. Mehrtens had been sent to request the attendance of Mr. J. O. Carter, who arrived at the Council Chamber, (the former office of the Minister of Finance), a little before 6 P. M., when he learned that Mr. Stevens had just recognized the Provisional Government. He was then asked to accompany Mr. Damon to the Palace, the Queen's Cabinet having already gone over. No instructions or credentials were given them, and it does not appear that they were empowered to negotiate any terms of surrender.

They found the Queen in the blue room in consultation with her four ministers, besides Messrs. Paul Neumann, E. C. Macfarlane, H. A. Widemann and others. Mr. Damon at once informed her of the establishment of the Provisional Government and of her deposition as Sovereign, and added that she might prepare a protest if she wished to do so. Messrs. J. O. Carter, Widemann and Neumann advised her to resign under protest, in the hope and expectation that her case would be considered at Washington.

Mr. Widemann referred to the restoration of the flag in 1843 after a conditional cession to Great Britain, as a parallel case. At the Queen's request, Mr. Neumann proceeded to draft a protest, which does credit to his shrewdness and foresight. Meanwhile an order was sent to Marshal Wilson to surrender the Station House, which he refused to do. By this time the lamps had been lighted, and the Queen's surrender was signed about 6:30 P M. It is as follows:

"I Liliuokalani, by the Grace of God and under the Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Queen, do hereby solemnly protest against any and all acts done against" myself and the Constitutional Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom by certain persons claiming to have established a Provisional Government of and for this Kingdom.

"That I yield to the superior force of the United States of America whose Minister Plenipotentiary, His Excellency, John L. Stevens, has caused United States troops to be landed at Honolulu and declared that he would support the Provisional Government.

"Now to avoid any collision of armed forces, and perhaps the loss of life, I do under this protest and impelled by said force yield my authority until such time as the Government of the United States shall, upon the facts being presented to it, undo the action of its representative and reinstate" me in the authority which I claim as the Constitutional Sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands."

Done at Honolulu this 17th day of January, A. D. 1893


SAMUEL PARKER, Minister of Foreign Affairs

WM. H. CORNWELL, Minister of Finance

Mr. Damon and the ex-ministers then returned to the Government Building with the Queen's protest, which was received by President Dole, and endorsed as follows:

"Received from the hands of the late Cabinet, this 17th day of January. 1893.

(Signed) SANFORD B. DOLE, Chairman of the Executive Council of the Provisional Government

Before endorsing it, he said to his colleagues, "here is a statement which they want to file, and I see no objection to acknowledging its receipt."

It is now evident, however, that the acceptance of that protest without an express denial of the misleading allegation contained therein, was a grave political mistake. Little importance or significance was attached to it at the time by most people, but its consequences have been momentous and far reaching. If an unqualified surrender had been insisted upon at that time, even at the cost of a little bloodshed, it might have settled matters once for all on a solid basis.

While the terms of the Queen's surrender were being discussed at the Palace, President Dole wrote to Mr. Stevens, suggesting the co-operation of the United States troops with the citizen volunteers during the night in preserving order. The letter was as follows:



Sir: I acknowledge the receipt of your valued communication of this day, recognizing the Hawaiian Provisional Government, and express deep appreciation of the same. We have conferred with the Ministers of the late Government, and have made demand upon the Marshal to surrender the Station House. We are not actually in possession of the Station House, but as night is approaching and our forces may be insufficient to maintain order, we request the immediate support of the United States forces, and would request that the Commander of the United States forces take command of our military forces so that they may act together for the protection of the city.

Respectfully yours,

SANFORD B. DOLE, Chairman of Executive Council

Endorsed as follows: The above request not complied with.

(Signed) STEVENS

This request met with a prompt refusal from Capt. Wiltse, which again illustrates the strict neutrality observed by the forces of the United States. The event proved the request to have been unnecessary.

Surrender Of The Station House And Barracks

About 7 P. M. the Queen's Ministers returned to the Station House, accompanied by Messrs. Neumann, E. C. Macfarlane, A. Rosa and others, and showed Marshal Wilson the Queen's protest, upon which he consented to surrender the place and the arms in his possession. About 7:30 P. M. it was formally delivered up to Messrs. J. H. Soper and J. A. McCandless, when a detachment of twenty riflemen under Capt. Ziegler marched in and took possession.

About the same time Capt. Nowlein, commander of the Queen's troops, reported to President Dole for orders, and was directed to keep his men and all their arms inside of the barracks for the night, and not to post guards as heretofore in the palace enclosure.

His men were paid off and disbanded on the evening of the 18th, when ninety Springfield rifles, seventy-five Winchesters, one Catling gun and an Austrian field battery of eight pieces, with a large stock of ammunition were turned over to the Provisional Government.

The Queen left the Palace about 11 A. M. of Wednesday, the 18th, and retired to her private residence, known as Washington Place.

The Councils remained in session until 11 P. M. Tuesday

Recognitions, Etc.

On the 18th of January, the Provisional Government was recognized as the de facto government of the Hawaiian Islands, by the diplomatic and Consular representatives of Austro-Hungary, Belgium, Chili, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Portugal, Russia and Spain. The representatives of Great Britain and Japan delayed their formal recognition until the 20th.

On the 19th, the U. S. force in Arion Hall was removed to much more commodious quarters in the Bishop premises on King Street, formerly called "Aigupita" which was for the time named "Camp Boston."

Dispatch Of The Annexation Commissioners

 The closing scenes of the Legislature of 1892, and the attempted Coup d'état of January 14, had convinced many conservative citizens that annexation to the United States was the only step that would secure permanent peace and prosperity to the Islands. It was the hope of annexation that gave unity and confidence to the supporters of the revolution, and had been declared to be its ultimated object in the proclamation of the Provisional Government, Besides as Senator Morgan has stated, "speedy action in completing the tained. Recruits flowed in steadily, without any special union was desirable for many obvious reasons, among which the injurious disturbance to commerce and danger to the public peace, growing out of a protracted agitation of so grave a matter, are conspicuous." Accordingly it was decided to dispatch the steamer Claudine at once to San Francisco with a Commission, empowered to negotiate a treaty of union with the United States. She sailed from Honolulu in the morning of Thursday, the 19th of January for San Francisco with the special Commission to Washington on board, which consisted of Messrs. L. A. Thurston, W. C. Wilder, W. R. Castle, J. Marsden and C. L. Carter.

L. A. Thurston,    W. C. Wilder,    W. R. Castle,    J. Marsden,    C. L. Carter

The Queen was allowed to send letters by the same vessel, but a passage on it was denied her envoys. Many prominent citizens were present at the Wilder dock to bid them God speed, and on the departure of the vessel, three hearty cheers were given for the Commission.

The voyage was prosperous and on the morning of January 28, the Commission landed in San Francisco, leaving on the following day for Washington.

Among the first acts of the Provisional Government was the repeal of the Lottery act and of the Opium License law, which had been signed by the Queen January 13. Measures were promptly taken for organizing the National Guard of Hawaii. Strong guards of Volunteers were kept up at the Government building as well as at the Palace, the barracks and police station, and regular street patrols were main effort to obtain them.

The Protectorate

So far the government had been sustained and good order preserved by the voluntary services of the best citizens of Honolulu. Time was needed to form a new police force and to organize and drill a small body of regular troops. Meanwhile the incessant agitation and the alarming rumors kept up by the opponents of the Government produced a general feeling of uneasiness. Besides this, there was pressure from without. As Mr. Stevens afterwards stated before a Committee of the -United States Senate, the Japanese Consul-General had lost no time in demanding of the new Government the right of suffrage for Japanese subjects in the Islands, and had sent a request to his government by the Claudine for a powerful cruiser, in addition to the training ship Kongo. A British ship of war was expected by the British Commissioner, who strongly opposed the project of annexation to the United States. It was believed that any outbreak, even if it was promptly crushed, would give color to the assertion at Washington that affairs in Hawaii were in a chaotic state, and that the Provisional Government had no stable authority. The strain on the Executive Council was severe.

Accordingly on January 31, it was decided to request Minister Stevens "to raise the flag of the United States for the protection of the Hawaiian Islands, for the time being, but not interfering with the administration of public affairs by this government."

In accordance with the terms of this request, at 8:30 A. M., February 1st, Capt. Wiltse proceeded to the Government building, and a few moments later the battalion of the U. S. S. Boston under Lieut. Com. Swinburne, marched up the street, entered the grounds, and drew up in front of the building.

Detachments from the three volunteer Companies A, B and C were drawn up in line, under the command of their respective captains, Ziegler, Gunn and Camara. Just before 9 o'clock Lieut. Rush read in a loud voice the following proclamation, and punctually at 9 o'clock, amid the breathless silence of all present, the flag, saluted by the troops, and by the cannon of the Boston, was raised above the tower of Aliiolani Hale.

The following is the text of the proclamation :


At the request of the Provisional Government of the Hawaiian Islands, I hereby, in the name of the United States of America, assume protection of the Hawaiian Islands for the protection of life and property, and occupation of public buildings and Hawaiian soil, so far as may be necessary for the purpose specified, but not interfering with the administration of public affairs by the Provisional Government.

This action is taken, pending, and subject to, negotiations at Washington.

JOHN L. STEVENS, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States

United States Legation, February 1, 1893

Approved and executed by G. C. WILTSE, Capt. U. S. N., Commanding the United States Ship Boston

 H.I.T.M.S. Naniwa                              U.S.S. Boston

From "Two Weeks of Hawaiian History"

"The custody of the Government building was then turned over to Lieut. Draper with his company of 25 marines. The American flag floated from the tower of the Government building, while the Hawaiian flag continued to float from the flag staff in the grounds.

"The wisdom of the Government's course, in requesting the protectorate, was justified by the result. A general feeling of relief spread itself throughout the community. The maintenance of the citizen soldiers, many of whom could ill spare the strength and time, which they required for their daily bread had been somewhat burdensome. While these soldiers were willing to support the Government as long as necessary, most of them were glad to be able to return to their ordinary occupations. The power of the Provisional Government to maintain itself against all coiners was never doubted for a moment, but it was naturally felt that the safest course was to be in constant readiness for an attack, even though the probability of any being made might be very small. As a matter of fact, it is not likely that an armed attempt to overthrow the government would have been made.

"On Sunday, the 5th of February, martial law was abrogated and the right of the writ of habeas corpus restored. No use had been made of its suspension, and no political arrests of any kind were found necessary."

Although, as stated above, the protectorate gave the country two months of profound peace and security from internal as well as external dangers, it no doubt prejudiced the cause of annexation at Washington, and tended to place the Provisional Government in a false light.

In a letter by the U. S. Secretary of State, Hon. John W. Foster, to Minister Stevens, dated February 11th, he defines the limits of the protectorate as follows:

"So far, therefore, as your action amounts to according, at the request of the de facto Sovereign Government of the Hawaiian Islands, the co-operation of the moral and material forces of the United States for the protection of life and property from apprehended disorders, your action is commended. But so far as it may appear to overstep the limit by setting the authority and power of the United States above that of the Government of the Hawaiian Islands, in the capacity of protector, or to impair in any way the independent sovereignty of the Hawaiian Government by substituting the flag and power of the United States as the symbol and manifestation of paramount authority, it is disavowed."

Mr. Stevens claimed that what had actually been done was in exact accordance with the above dispatch, and said " there was no period in which I was more unconnected with internal affairs than in that period when the flag was up."

H. B. M. ship Garnet, Capt. Hughes-Hallet, R. N., arrived February 12th, and the Japanese protected cruiser Naniwa Kan, arrived on February 28th, the latter vessel remaining until May 11th. The attitude of the officers of these two ships while in" port was such as to fully justify the existing protectorate as a measure of precaution.


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